Re: drugs & alcohol
David Wilson (Djh.Wilson@EE.QUB.AC.UK)
Tue, 6 Feb 1996 15:06:37 GMT
Jumping in on this trans-Atlantic discussion...
> >I would say it's easy. No drugs or alcohol for the children on
> Would you allow drugs or alcohol for the children outside of meetings?
> That's ridiculous.
First of all, I don't think that we as leaders can really dictate what a
Scout is and is not allowed to do outside a Scout meeting. If I tried
following all my Scouts around and stopping them from doing certain things
after school, I would quite rightly elicit a string of complaints. It's up
to the parents to discipline their children then. I would also be EXTREMELY
wary of acting on second, third, or sixteenth hand information- that's a
_very_ easy way to land yourself in a whole load of trouble.
Having said that... Here in the UK, with a legal drinking age of 18, there
tends to be a bit of a problem with under-age drinking, especially among
15-17 year olds. As a Scout leader, taking boys to the age of 15 1/2, this
is less of a problem for me- all the boys KNOW that alcohol is not allowed
at any Scout events, and they wouldn't even try to bring any. When I'm with
the Venture Scouts (aged 15-20), it is a problem, especially as some _are_
legally entitled to drink. In my experience, there's not much point turning
round to them and declaring that they're not allowed to drink; it just makes
me sound like the authoritarian figures they are trying to rebel against.
Besides, I know I wouldn't have listened when I was that age. I encourage
them to work out a Unit policy on alcohol, and I generally find that, given
half a chance, they can handle such things fairly responsibly. There are
certainly enough sensible ones there to realise when the policy isn't working.
If I think that someone is endangering themselves (inside OR outside
Scouting), or things are getting out of hand, then I will step in; otherwise,
I think it's best to let them take responsibility for what they do. They are,
after all, far more likely to obey a law which they have imposed on themselves.
As regards using marijuana/cannabis/etc... I would certainly try to ban all
drugs from Unit activities. Not because it is worse/better for you than
alcohol (I _really_ don't want to get into that argument...), but because
it is an illegal substance here, and the repercussions of being caught with
it would be very serious, not just for the individual, but for the Unit as a
whole, and, indeed, Scouting in general. Again, I find that if you explain
that to the young people, they will take it on board and act accordingly.
Just my opinions... start pumping up your flamethrowers if you wish...
David Wilson. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(SL, 1st Saintfield Scout Troop, Co. Down, N. Ireland)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City